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How influencers are adapting amid the pandemic

Bethany Mota, Atom&Matter Founder, joins Yahoo Finance's Melody Hahm to discuss how her brand is faring amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Video Transcript

MELODY HAHM: Today, we're speaking with YouTuber Bethany Mota, who was an early digital pioneer. In addition to content creation, she now has a new jewelry line. And we're going to talk about the power of brand in commerce. Thanks so much for joining us today, Bethany.

BETHANY MOTA: Thanks for having me. Of course.

MELODY HAHM: So you have a demi-fine jewelry line called Atom & Matter. It's no coincidence that Atom also happens to be your last name spelled backwards. Very clever there. And you launched on November 17. So it's pretty new, COVID born business over the holiday season. Can you give us any sorts of context and color on how the first month actually fared?

BETHANY MOTA: Pretty good. I mean, obviously, launching a brand in this time was very unique, very different. So I would say the creation process, and like the building it, was definitely, obviously, different. Because there wasn't a lot of in-person interaction, even between the internal team. So that was definitely kind of a concern going into it. Because usually, when launching a brand, and because I've done this in the past before, we would do in-person things, like in-person meet and greets, and things like that, to really get people to know the brand, and get people familiar with it.

But obviously, that was not an option this year. So we kind of just did it in our own way. And utilizing social media was obviously very important and very helpful for letting people know about the brand, which is also not too difficult. Because that is also where I come from is the social media space. So I found it to actually be a helpful, like kind of a blessing in disguise. It kind of taught us new ways to do things, and to work with what we have in the environment that we're in.

So it's been incredibly great to see it blossom. And it's only two months, barely, down the road. So I'm very excited to see the future of it as well.

MELODY HAHM: And I know you teamed up with a former designer at Tiffany and Co to really make sure these are sort of timeless classic pieces that people want to have forever, right? It's not just a trend in this moment. How do you ensure-- you know, you alluded to the fact that you have this social media presence-- that you're able to continue with your own brand, while also maintaining the separate business enterprise? Do you feel like there are some blurred lines here? And any potential sort of headaches down the road, by having these two identities being merged?

BETHANY MOTA: That's actually the reason why I wanted to create this brand, because I've done product in the past before that was very much tied to me and my personality, and who I am online. I wanted to make something that can live on its own. And that's why-- we kind of put my name in a weird way. But at the end of the day, this brand has its own identity. And it has its own name. And that's what I really wanted, was to make something that didn't necessarily need me, that it can grow on its own. And people can love it and be a part of that community, that is separate from my own. Which, I'm still connected and very involved in it, obviously. But I wanted to make something that years down the road, if I'm not making content anymore, or whatever it may be, that can still have its own identity.

And that's also why the core values of the brand was so important, and making sure that everything was of really high quality, and like you said, working with Yunjo because going into the space was very new for me. So she really helped can I hold my hand through the design process. And we created some pieces that aren't going to be thrown away in a couple of months. They're not just focused on trends. It's really pieces that you can wear for a lifetime.

MELODY HAHM: And of course, probably everyone watching the program right now knows you for your YouTube presence. You have nearly 10 million followers now. You have 20 million across all your social media platforms. Talk to us about burnout. Talk to us about the year 2020, and how it's been for you, to really continue churning out content, to be able to kind of make sure to stay alive and fresh, even as a global pandemic is raging on.

BETHANY MOTA: Yeah, well, I mean, burnout is something that I feel that every creator has experienced or will experience at one point. I think it's just kind of inevitable, especially when you're in a space where you kind of wear a lot of the hats, where you are the star in the content. You also can produce it and edit it, and all of that stuff. It can be a little exhausting after a certain point, especially if you feel creatively, you're not really sure where to take it.

So it's definitely something that I've experienced before the pandemic. And I was actually kind of just coming out of my burnout when we kind of got into 2020. I would say 2020 kind of, it was more of a reflection year for me. And I think the same goes for a lot of people, obviously. It proposed a lot of challenges that none of us were expecting, and it's affected so many people in their own ways.

For me, as a creator, it's definitely just made me kind of go internal, and reflect on myself. Because we've had so much time to spend with ourselves. So I feel that it really helped me kind of confront some things within myself that maybe I was putting off for so long, which is really easy to do when we're in a world that's going so quick. And we're constantly seeing people and doing things.

But now, us all being in our homes, with the people that-- our family, or roommates, or whoever it may be-- it really gave us all the chance to kind of go within ourselves and figure some things out, which I'm grateful for. Because I feel that it's also going to reflect in my content, in everything that you do, right? Who you are inside, and what you feel inside, reflects in your work, and everything that you create.

MELODY HAHM: Yeah, some excellent points there. I understand. I'm in the confines of my own bedroom. So I feel you. Thank you so much, Bethany Mota, the founder of Atom & Matter. Best of luck to you.

BETHANY MOTA: Thank you.